Victoria to deny childcare places to unimmunised children

Anyone planning on moving to the Australian state of Victoria with young children will need to make sure that they have all their relevant vaccinations or face them being denied a place in kindergarten.

From 1st January 2016, the Victorian state government will ban young children who are not up-to-date with their full immunisation schedule from attending kindergarten or any other early years childcare facility.

“The science on this issue is really clear. Vaccinations save lives,” Victoria’s Health Minister Jill Hennessy said upon announcing the new law at the weekend. “What we don’t accept is those who go around myth-making about the risks of vaccination.”

The Minister revealed that there had been more than 1,000 cases of whooping cough recorded across the state so far this year compared to last year – a situation that wouldn’t happen, she says, if everyone was up-to-date with their vaccinations.

“We know that it is absolutely essential to get your children vaccinated if you can and only if there are medical reasons as to why a child can’t be vaccinated will that be acceptable,” Minister Hennessy continued. “Our aim is not to exclude kids from early childhood services. Our aim is to get people immunised and we’re going to use this as an incentive and a prompt.”

This announcement follows on the heels of recent moves made by the Federal Government to strip social security payments from parents who do not immunise their children.